Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Proverbs 9 shows the incredible difference between the way of God and the ways of the world as it provides a word picture of wisdom and folly calling out to us, both at the highest places of the city. Wisdom has a house, with seven pillars, and has a complete dinner, with meat, wine, fully prepared, and free to eat for any who will humble himself and enter. Wisdom is there to sustain us. Folly, in contrast, calls out to us to enter in and, rather than providing sustenance tells us to find our own way. The way of God is dependence on Him. And what is truly amazing about that is that God is fully self-sustaining and needs nothing, not even me (think Job 38-42). He overflows with love and provision and is ready to draw near to any who would draw near to them and bless them to bring glory to His name (James 4:8; Psalm 115). Folly, the way of the world, the way of Satan, calls out to us to serve ourselves, to be our own "god" just as Lucifer tempted Eve and Adam in the garden (Genesis 3:5). So, are you living in dependence on God or in dependence on yourself? Ask yourselves this, because in the answer you can see if your way is one clothed in Wisdom or in folly. Don't just ask once; instead, continually examine your path and your motivations to see if you are following Christ or following self-interest (2 Corinthians 13:5, Lamentations 3:37-41). We must die daily to ourselves and live for Christ (Luke 9:23, 1 Corinthians 15).

God is so good. We are in Kona, Hawaii at the University of the Nations, a ministry of Youth With a Mission. We have been studying the ministry of missions work and are seeking His will for our family in this. As we begin this journey we are, for the first time, graced with the time and desire to spend time as a family in devotion, prayer, and simply serving one another in a way we hadn't before. It is truly wonderful. Thank you for your prayers for us.

2 comments:

Andrew hicks said...

Bryan,

I came to your web page after it was plugged by our Sr Pastor, Alan Cross, on his blog http://downshoredrift.com. I really resonate with the postings I’ve read so far. I appreciated this one (1) because I love the pursuit (and hopeful attainment) of wisdom and (2) because it is nice to see a young up and coming blogger exploring the ramifications of scripture BEGINNNING FROM SCRIPTURE and not in defense of some argument or point they are trying to drive home. You referenced similar phenomenon in another post about how many blogs today seem to be railings against one thing or another instead of holding out the word of life.
I was asked to teach a class a few years back to the youth in our church, the subject was WISDOM. I was totally edified by exploring what the scriptures had to say but especially this, and the preceding chapter, of proverbs. It is interesting to note that in the previous chapter wisdom is again given personality as she speaks. I found most interesting her declaration that she was in existence before the world began. That Wisdom was instrumental in creating the world as we know it. Wisdom predicated what would go where and what it’s nature would be, much like a nesting mother gets her house in order prior to the new arrival. If you compare this with verses from the new testament which affirm all that IS was brought forth by and through Jesus Christ, and also 1 Corinthians chapter one’s revelation that Jesus IS the wisdom of God to those who believe, then I think you gain a whole new perspective on these chapters in Proverbs. That when we are walking, as you say, in Wisdom and not folly, what we are really doing is taking hold of Christ. We can say wisdom, rather than being a set of rules and regulations, of do’s and don’ts, is actually the playing out of the gospel in our lives and the realization of Christ’s character taking over our own.

Thanks for sharing your insights.
I am praying for you and your family.
Looking forward to reading more of the odyssey.

Grace and peace, Andrew Hicks

Bryan Riley said...

Andrew, I'd love to have your email address to write. I am at bwriley4@yahoo.com. Thank you for your wise comment. And I agree that the scripture clearly identifies Christ as Wisdom and the Word and that all three are revelation of God. We can see the revelation of God in the written revelation, the Word, the living revelation, Christ (also the Word), the created revelation (all of creation..Psalm 19; Romans 1), and personal revelation, when God reveals Himself directly to each of us.